04.02.3014: The Ghosts That Haunt Us
Summary: Dominic and Crimson happen upon Cyrielle; they discuss getting over the darkest of times.
Date: 12-16-13
Related: From Whence We Came, Cape Amran, Lazarus Island
Cyrielle Dominic 

Forest, Beacon, Imperius
The forests around Beacon.
Wednesday, April 2nd 3014

The worst part of the recovery process for Cyrielle has been, undoubtedly, how little time she gets to spend in the forests that have come to provide her a sense of belonging and comfort. It's a good day, thankfully, for the new leg and she's convinced the Hollolas staff to let her out and about of her own accord. With a promise, of course, to send word if she needs any assistance. The weather is even agreeable and there's no rain at current time; the skies are somewhat overcast, but the mottled light in the forests at the edges of Hollolas territories seem unchanged.

There will be no climbing of the trees for some time yet, but Cyrielle can still practice other aspects of her previous life. The young woman is attired in her ranging gear once more - though no jacket is in evidence. Just a synthetic-leather bodice and pants, with the same boots she'll like-as-not never give up. With crutches dropped away beside one of the ever-large tree trunks, she's leaning against the same just around the side. Bow and arrow in hand, both are slack and lowered as she lets her Awakened senses spindle out into the surrounding area. She 'listens' to the forest floor, as told by the trees and plants around her.

Dominic was not expecting visitors in this part of the forest. As infrequent as his visits to Beacon are, it can become a bit infuriating to anyone wanting to get intouch with him, keeping his communicator open to emergency channels only. The ranger-knight doesn't like to be bothered all that much, espeically when his presence isn't specifically requested. Crimson apparently seems to agree.

But hooded knight does spy a figure moving about the trees at a slow pace. He's picked out some time ago that this was Cyrielle Hollolas, and the pair decided to shadow the woman, perhap oddly curious where she intends to go. And maybe to make sure she's alright. But it's only when he stops is when he approaches her from around the other side of the tree. A ranger never approaches someone face-forward if they can help it. "Searching?" is his one-word greeting. There's no face, just a mixture of ranger hood and armor, taken up mostly by the mirror visor imbedded in his helmet.

She knew. The woman may not have quite the extent of talents as the Knight, but between her own time spent living in the forest and her Awakened senses…

As Dominic approaches, Cyrielle is already standing straighter and lowering the bow further. "I don't like still targets," she explains, glancing towards the man and his wolf. Her quiver is across her back, at a comfortable angle to reach for further arrows. No other weaponry — save perhaps a basic dagger — presents itself. Still, the glowing green of her aura that winds about her limbs (save her lower, right leg) is evidence enough that she's not wholly incapable.

White eyes take in the man's armor and the Hollolas leans into the tree she's next to. Taking some pressure off her leg. "Before…" the attack on Amran, "did you live in the forest then, or is that a new habit?"

There's a soft snort from behind the visored helmet of Dominic. Perhaps he doesn't like being spotted. When he stalks something or someone, being invisible is key. Even Crimson looks a bit dismayed that she knew of their presence, giving animalistic 'hurmphf' snort and shake of his furry head. He wasn't holding a weapon in his hand, save for the tactical crossbow at his back. Usually his hunting weapon, not combat. That's somewhere else at the moment.

His expression is hidden, which is the way he prefers it. Because he doesn't seem to really enjoy her question. "Yes." he replies. "Woods. Home."

The string of bow is allowed to fully relax and Cyrielle slides the arrow back into quiver. She turns her back fully to the tree and slides against it until she's sitting. "They are," the woman agrees, letting her right leg slowly stretch out into the soft earth.

"Sometimes I miss it. Sometimes I don't. Like being a part of two places…" She lets her bow rest across her lap and with a slow exhale, releases the Awakened state. The color returns to her eyes and she blinks a few times, before gaze comes to rest on Dominic once again. "Anything of note out here? It's seemed almost too quiet as of late."

Oh, this is going to bother him for awhile. Just something else to kick himself for. Being suspected by a single woman, he's not as good as he thought he was. Which makes him even less likely to go back into Beacon anytime soon. "Only place left." he states, moving away a bit, letting his irratibility shake itself out of him. An idle gesture with a hand. "Life." he explains. "Note. Perspective why here." He tilts his head. "Sound everywhere. Not hear?"

"Well, I-" Cyrielle looks embarassed then. It was a slip of the tongue, in a sense. Bringing up his lost home in that way. It's for this that she's suspecting his backing away to be in response to. The young woman lifts her hand to her face, smothering her eyes for a moment. She draws in a long breath and once recovered, she sits up straighter.

Her back can't fully find the tree due to the quiver, but Cyrielle is clearly comfortable enough. In her element, perhaps. There's an ease to her that wasn't when around her father and cousin. "Not in that sense," she says, with a slight wave of her hand. "There's been attacks. The Vale is trying to rid themselves of the Hostiles. Those reports out of Landing… It's just… perhaps I'm on edge." Is she speaking to him or herself, now? Filling the gaps, maybe. "I feel like we've missed something."

"Think too much." Dominic utters. His long-distance crossbow is taken from it's holster on his back and set on the ground, the man sitting on the ground. The cloat he wears shimmers colors and patterns, attempting to match the ground he lowers himself down to. "Humans fight humans. Humans fight Cantosans." he shrugs. "War. Basis of humans. What we do. Always do. Nature." He pauses. "Can't change. Unwilling…to change. Cantosans humans. Civilizations. Based on strife."

"Can you really think too much?" Cyrielle's not agreeing or disagreeing. It may just be a rhetorical question, even. She draws in a breath and tilts her head back against the tree's trunk. She can't sit back, with her quiver as it is… at least not fully. When the air is released from her lungs, her Awakened aura goes away with it and the color returns to her eyes. The vines fade away from around her form. "Can't have peace without war," she murmurs absently. "I've been on edge ever since Lazarus Island, you see. Seeing ghosts around every corner."

"Yes." Dominic utters slowly. "Know." He taps at his head. "Think too much. After Amran. Get to you. Haunt you. Never leave you." Letting himself sit forward, he looks over his crowwbow. "War. Peace. Prepetual cycle. Never end. Death. Rebirth. Black. White. Fate. Free will. Truth. Lie." he lists off. "Schisms. Life. War easy. Peace harder. Easy to destroy. Hard to create. Humans lazy. Take easier route." The mention of ghosts gets a shrug. "Ghosts. Exist in mind. Not real…but real."

"Been trapped inside too much lately," Cyrielle says with a slight upward tick of lips in a smirk. "Barely convinced the household to let me out today, but…" She looks up towards the canopy, so far above. "I needed to be around nature." There's a deep breath drawn and the woman's chin lowers. She draws her left leg closer to her chest, trapping bow between leg and torso.

"Tell me… Does it ever get any easier? The nightmares and looking over your shoulder all the time?"

"Home or head?" Dominic askes in reference to where she's been trapped. "Either…insidious." The visored gaze follows her's to upwards, eyes can only be sharing the same sight. "Nature. Not answer for everything. Answer," he taps the breastplate that covers his chest, "come within. Family. Friends. Nature. No answer. You…have answer. Time."

That last question makes him go quiet. A gloved finger runs along Crimson's back, petting his companion. "What truth? Or lie?"

"Both, but mostly home," Cyrielle says with a soft laugh. "I have ways to escape my head." Not all of them safe, mind, but at least she has them. The woman tugs slightly at her trousers and pulls them up far enough to reveal the gleam of the new, cybernetic limb. "Still learning how to… function again."

At the last, there's a slow draw of breath and the Hollolas' shoulders rise and fall. "Truth, always truth."

"Lucky you." Dominic utters plainly, tone suddenly becoming crispy dry. He's goes quiet, just sitting staring at nothing in particular. Or that's what it seems like, face hideen by the mirorroed gaze of his headgear. He likes it, the covering. A mask or sorts. "Broken." he observes. "Mentally. Phsycially. Can be repaired. Takes will. Drive."

"Answer to question. No." he puts it plainly. "Never easier. Not supposed to be. Life not easy. Life miserable. But…to improve. Make better. Life worth living. Ghost..are there. Acknowlege. Not haunted."

"You could, too," Cyrielle points out, head tilted slightly to one side. It's an expression of mild curiousity, perhaps. "Enough to drink and you can… forget anything and become lost in the moment, rather than your own thoughts and memories." She smooths her trouser leg back into place and lowers her left leg, starting to look over her bow. An idle, but valuable practice.

"At first I… wanted to just hide. But then I realized, well… I have this gift," being Awakened, "and the position… to help people. So I'm hoping I can walk properly soon and actually do some good."

"Don't drink." Dominic shakes his head. "Alcohol. Drugs. Crutch. Limiting. Personal demons…will cope…unaltered." The way he sits almost seems like he's meditating. "Booze and drugs. Ways to hide. Run away. Not face truth. Fear. Always fear. Fear destroys. Cripples. Undoes. Mind-killer. Humans. Creatures driven by fear. Fight. Run. Because of fear."

The ranger-knight shakes his head. "Survived hell. House dead. Family dead. Friends dead. I remain. Devil is real. Seen him. Nothing left to fear."

There's a slight flinch from Cyrielle and her fingers pause in their inspection of the bow. She draws in a slow breath between her teeth, fussing at some of the wrapping around the grip. It's a well-loved and used bow; quite traditional in its wood make.

"What's wrong with running away once in a while?" She lifts her chin and there's a brief flash of frustration, but she manages to quell it. To bite back whatever might have been threatening to surface. "It's war… We should all be prepared to lose everyone around us."

"Cowardice." Dominic says plainly. "Those things. An escape. From self. Running from problems. Insult to self. Self-respect." He thumps his chest. "To often…we run. Because easy. Afraid. Fear. Always fear. Rules us. Judges us. Dominates lives." Legs cross-legged in some kind of meditational position, he doesn't move. "Society fears. Easy. Me. Used to run, hide. Disgusted. Faced fear. Still fear…but understand it."

He shakes his head slightly. "Different. Fear to lose…everything. Already happened. Different persepective. Person without fear….person nothing to lose." A solem nod. "Dangerous."

That sets the woman to bristling and she draws her bow closer. It's not quite a shield and it does little to help. "Well, some people aren't as brave as you are." His words have clearly struck a nerve and Cyrielle hunches forward; leaning over her bow. She tries to focus more on her work, but after a moment… her hands are shaking and she just stops. Eyes close and she draws in a few, deep breaths.

"Am not brave." Dominic replies. "Only understand. Difference. Bravery. Sometimes equal stupidity. Society…different idea of bravery." He's as still as a statue. Perhaps through what it seems like meditation is how he's found this sense of enlightenment. "Real bravery…in understanding. Not battle. Strength of arms. Bravery. Seeing faults. Short-comings. Admitting them. Facing them. Accepting them." From what it looks like he is totally unaware of that he's making her angry. He's just blunt, that's the way he is, lacking a filter and it looks like he's not the kind to apologize for it.

When he turns to her, his voice is calm, peaceful. Serene even. "It is only after we have lost everything that we are free to do anything." That's the most complete sentence he's said in a long time.

In all actuality, Cyrielle seems unwilling to listen. For the most part, at least; she's just still for a time. Finally tucking wrappings and brushing over a few splinters. It's a hand-made bow; this isn't a factory made thing. It's so basic… no wonder she didn't place very high in the Tourney for Tomorrow. The others had trained for stationary targets and had higher quality equipment.

However, the Knight's last sentence draws her attention. She lifts her chin and regards him; dark eyes made darker by the shadows cast across the ground. "And what are you free to do if you haven't lost everything?"

"Hold." Dominic replies simply. "To what have. Cherish it. Savor it." The man could've been a priest in another life, but who knows what he went through mentally to reach the point where he's at now. A point he's still striving for. "Could lose. In flash. Left with nothing." He gets up to his feet. "Have offended. Did not speak to you…personally." A gesture of a handwave. "In general." He reaches down for his for his crossbow. "However…will not apologize. For how feel."

As he stands, Cyrielle draws in a breath and starts to get to her own feet. It's a very slow process. In actually, she struggles at it; the tree does not provide ample purchase and the woman is still leery of the new leg. Even though it could likely support all it needs to…

"It's fine," she offers in the midst of it, voice mildly strained by the effort of standing. "You spoke from the heart. Not sure if you've noticed yet, but… we appreciate that here in Beacon."

"Lesson. Hard to learn." Dominic offers. "Hard way. In drink. Red Eye. Escapes. Not answer. Exacerbation of problem. Not solution." A glance at Crimson, who's been suspiciously quiet this entire time. "Saw in mirror. Saw Crimson. Damage to self. Shame. Would friends want. Family want. Disappointment. More shame." He thumps his chest once again. "Do better. No choice. Disgrace to their memory. Not…" he looks at his feet, sucking in a breath. "…not want."

Biting into her lip a moment, Cyrielle finally makes her ascent and leans against the tree. She catches her breath and shifts, placing weight gingerly on her right leg. The crutches are finally retrieved and one used as balance so she can bent and reach for the bow. "More shame?" Voice incredulous, she looks to Dominic. As if she could see through the visor of his armor. "What have you to be ashamed of?"

"Fell too far. Better than that." Dominic shrugs lightly, turning away, making sure his crossbow is secured againsthis back. "Know what they thought. Of me. Good job. Good friend. Good son. Good…lover." He sighs at the last part. "Fell far. Drink. Drugs. Never again. Let them down. Shame…on self. Should be better. -Know- be better. So do. Meditate. Reflect. At peace…." he pauses at that. "..or try to be."

There's a soft snort. Of amusement, perhaps? Cyrielle leans against the tree as she gets her bow over her own back. "Everyone fucks up sometimes, Sir Howell." She gets her other crutch under her arm and starts to pick her way — slowly and gingerly — away from the intricate root structure. "We all fail in something. Kinda like that whole need for balances? What balances you now?"

"Story…for another time." There's more to what Dominic is saying, though he doesn't quite feel like sharing it. What happeneing Cape Amran. How he survived. And why he's still sane now. Or maybe he sin't. Quite a few indicators to suggest he's not exactly all there. His method of speech being one of them. "Balance. The rocks. The trees. Crimson. Meditate. Remember. Larger things. The cosmos. Life is circular. Try to…rationalize. Doesn't always work. But try. The ghost say differently. Can't listen. Won't listen. Fall again. Not again."

"Escaping every so often isn't falling," Cyrielle counters, frowning somewhat. "Everyone deserves to be happy sometimes. To have a release sometimes. It's why we have tournaments, charity balls… even weddings. To get that break from everything that drags us down. Even soldiers get leave to clear their minds, have a roll in the hay, or just drink and let everything go." She makes it to solid ground and leans back on the crutches, right leg gingerly settling into the ground.

Dominic shakes his head. "Can't. Not for all. Opens a door. Can't be walked through. Know what's behind it. What offers." Crimson finally comes up to his side. "Sweet oblivion. Lost in a haze. Of booze. Drugs. Sex. Excess. Won't go back. Not an escape. Hiding. Scared. Not allowed to be scared." The crossbow is taken in his hands then. "When war over…if still alive. Maybe then, relax. Escape. Give up. Join family. Not yet. Have purpose. Now…still job to do. No fear. Everything gone. Nothing left. Nothing to fear." He thumps his chest again. "Am ruined vessel of sorrow and regret. At peace. Ghost still haunt, but at peace."

"Ah." Cyrielle breathes something of understanding now. "I understand… I did that… much too often on my repreieves from my studies. Never lost myself to it…" She pauses, glancing off into the trees. "Well, not wholly. Or too often." The woman leans in on the crutches absently, looking thoughtful. "As I improve, if you ever want company on scouting trips, let me know. I'll be going back to the path to Captain, but… I wish to know more of being a Ranger, as well. The forests are important to me."

"Am dutiful. Sworn to Hollolas." Dominic notes. "Will take if want." Looks down through the trees. "Come. Will guide back to first path. To Beacon. Then I…go back." A hand wave at the woods. "Where belong. Am damned. You. Not yet. Still hope..for you. For me…at peace with fate." The ranger-knight seems to be done talking now, starting to walk down on an invisible road that only he sees, that'll lead her back to civilization.

"I'm not going to demand you take me along like some petulant, spoiled brat," Cyrielle points out with something of a snort. "I'd like to be useful and I'm volunteering. It'd be good to know my family's lands intimately; more than surveys and satellite data can provide. I know the deeper forests within The Spine itself, but… less of Beacon's lands." She sounds perhaps a bit sheepish for that.

"Ah, Sir Howell…" The youngest of the Hollolas brood is slowly following on her crutches, mindful of where they fall. "I don't think you can say whether or not I'm damned. Nor yourself. That's for the Crone and no other."

Dominic stops for one moment and one moment only. "Did not see Amran. Did not see. The Six, they do not exist." Without another word, he continues to walk.

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